Air Force response to water contaminates at former Reese AFB

KAMC News

In just a few weeks, the Air Force says the problems people are experiencing near the former Reese Air Force Base will be fixed.

Air Force representatives in town discussed the progress being made on cleaning up the groundwater, after people were exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals.

It’s been two years since the Air Force started sampling wells and water systems around the base. They found drinking water was contaminated with chemicals used for putting out petroleum based fires. Many residents have been drinking bottled water all this time.

Several hundred families are impacted by this contamination, said Paul Carroll, Air Force program manager for the former Reese AFB.

It was a packed house Tuesday night at Terra Vista Middle School as the Air Force answered questions from those affected by the water problem.

“They’re testing it, they’re fixing it, the water’s good, but how good is it?” asked Ida Cervantes, who lives in area surrounding the Reese Air Force base.

The Air Force has sampled 480 wells and installed more than 180 whole house treatment systems for people affected. The entire process is costing the air force more than $12 million dollars.

We are still testing, we are about done with our extent of known areas of impacted wells, there are still about 30 to 40 wells we still want to sample, Carroll said.  

Cervantes said she’s still skeptical the water is safe to drink and bathe in.

How do I know? I don’t know anything about what’s going on, Cervantes said.

Cervantes said fortunately no one in her home has gotten sick.

“So far I’ve been there in that area six years before they came in and told us all this, I can’t say we’re having any medical problems or anything,” Cervantes said.

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